Drivers can shop for car insurance online using free car insurance comparison tools, directly through an insurance company’s website or agent, or with an independent broker. When shopping for car insurance, remember to consider how much coverage you’ll need beforehand and then compare more than just costs. Customer reviews and discounts are also important to take into account when shopping for car insurance.
How to Shop for Car Insurance in 5 Steps
- Decide Where to Shop
- Consider How Much Coverage You’ll Need
- Consider Other Types of Coverage
- Compare Car Insurance Companies
- Get and Compare Quotes
1. Decide Where to Shop for Car Insurance
There are many places to begin shopping for car insurance: directly from one company online or through an agent, via an independent broker, or online with a comparison tool. The easiest way to decide which method of shopping for car insurance is the best for you is by weighing the pros and cons and determining which aligns best with your personal preferences.
|Online with a Comparison Tool||Compare a variety of companies and quotes quickly from the comfort of your own home||Some may try to sell your data or mislead you with ads|
|Direct From Insurer Online||Get free quotes and compare different plans quickly||More difficult to compare different companies|
|Direct From Insurer Through an Agent||Can walk you through coverage and rates for one company||May try to upsell you|
|Through an Independent Agent or Broker||Can explain coverage options from a variety of companies and give you quotes for each potential policy||May try to upsell you and may result in a broker fee worked into your premiums|
2. Consider How Much Coverage You’ll Need
Almost every state requires at least some form of car insurance. Most states require every driver to be equipped with liability insurance so other drivers are financially protected if the policyholder causes an accident. Some states also require additional types of coverage such as personal injury protection to cover the policyholder’s accident-related medical expenses and uninsured motorist insurance so the policyholder is protected in accidents with uninsured drivers.
Learn more about how much car insurance you need.
3. Consider Other Types of Coverage
If you have a loan or a lease for your vehicle, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive insurance so the vehicle is protected in the event of an accident. However, you may want to consider other types of insurance, too.
Gap insurance, for example, helps fill the financial gap between what your car is worth and what you owe on the loan if your car is totaled. Mechanical breakdown insurance can also cover expenses for mechanical repairs, like an extended warranty but cheaper and with more flexibility.
Learn more about the types of car insurance.
4. Compare Car Insurance Companies
It’s good to start with the best car insurance companies or the cheapest insurers in your state. Alternatively, if you know you need a specific type of insurance, such as collision insurance, check which companies are the best for that type of coverage and narrow your choices from there. There are several key things you should look at when comparing companies.
Important Factors to Consider
- Customer service reviews
- Coverage options
Learn more about comparing car insurance companies.
5. Get and Compare Quotes
When shopping for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from at least three different companies so you know you’re getting the best coverage at a great price. Getting and comparing quotes is a really simple process.
Start by gathering personal information you’ll need, such as any drivers you want listed on the policy and details about your vehicle. Then, using the companies you’ve picked out, you can get quotes online, over the phone, or in-person with an agent or independent broker.
Learn more about how to get car insurance quotes.
What You Need to Shop for Car Insurance
- Vehicle information: VIN, make, model, year, mileage, ownership (financed, own, lease)
- Personal information: license number, SSN, residential address, date of birth, sex, maritial status
- Contact information: phone number, email.
Shop from the 10 Best Car Insurance Companies
|Company||User Rating||WalletHub Editor's Rating||Get Quote|
|Geico||2.4/5||4.4/5||Get a Quote|
|Progressive||2.6 /5||3.9/5||Get a Quote|
|USAA||2.7 /5||3.5/5||Get a Quote|
|Esurance||3.5 /5||3.0/5||Get a Quote|
|Travelers||2.1 /5||4.2/5||Get a Quote|
|The Hartford||2.4 /5||3.1/5||Get a Quote|
|Mercury||2.1 /5||3.7/5||Get a Quote|
|AAA||2.3 /5||3.4/5||Get a Quote|
|State Farm||3.3 /5||4.1/5||Get a Quote|
|Liberty Mutual||2.4 /5||3.2/5||Get a Quote|
Key Things to Remember When Shopping for Car Insurance
Don’t Forget About Discounts
It’s important to consider discounts when shopping for car insurance because they can have a big impact on the total cost of your policy. Car insurance discounts can save drivers up to 35%, depending on the state and company.
- Safe driver discounts
- Anti-theft device discounts
- Multiple vehicles discounts
- Policy bundling discounts
- Good student discounts
- Low mileage discounts
- Defensive driver class discounts
Cost Isn’t Everything
While cost is a very important factor when shopping for car insurance, you should also consider how convenient the company will be to work with in the event of a claim and how well rated their customer service is. Additionally, consider benefits that may come along with the company, such as the option to bundle policies
Check Quotes Often
To make sure you’re getting the best deal, it’s a good idea to check quotes from at least three insurers when shopping for car insurance. This way, you can compare the quotes and types of insurance offered to ensure you have the best coverage at the best price.
Choose a Company That Fits Your Needs
Some insurance companies are online-only, meaning that for any policy changes or claims you may need to handle, there isn’t an office you can go to. For tech-savvy customers, this may be a great way to buy and manage car insurance, but for others, the in-person relationship is an important and necessary aspect of the car buying process.
Think About Your Driving Record
Past offenses like DUIs or the need for an SR-22 can drive your insurance rates way up. Knowing what is on your driving record can help you shop for an insurer that fits your needs and circumstances. For example, you can prioritize companies that are known for offering the cheapest rates after a DUI or the best SR-22 insurance.